Our Cognitive Ability as We Age

Key Takeaways

  • Maintaining curiosity throughout our lives may help our cognitive ability.
  • There are a variety of ways in which we can exercise the “curiosity muscle” in our brains.
  • You’re never too old to be curious about life!

If you’ve spent any amount of time around young children, you’ve probably noticed they’re full of questions. They’re curious about absolutely everything and won’t hesitate to endlessly ask “Why?” and “How?” It makes sense: the world is still so new to them and life is fascinating! Wouldn’t it be nice, as an adult, to possess some of that wonder?

Well, as it turns out, we’d be wise to cultivate our own curiosity, because it’s actually good for us! A 2018 paper from Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews explains that maintaining curiosity improves cognitive health, as well as life satisfaction, and can also help protect us from depression and physical decline. As we age, these are all things we strive for, to ensure we’re still fully functioning in our later years.

However, the research states that curiosity tends to decline as we age – so how do we go about maintaining it? There are a number of ways, but here are three to help spark your curiosity.

The first is joyous exploration. Do you recall that feeling of being so happy to try something new or to go somewhere you’ve never been? When was the last time you felt that? The more you can experience it, the better it is for your overall health.

The second is thrill seeking. Sure, we need to balance this with keeping safety in mind, but there are plenty of 80-year-olds who still downhill ski, parachute out of airplanes, and scuba dive. There’s something about the energy and excitement that comes from doing things out of the ordinary, isn’t there? Keeping an interest in those things helps spark our curiosity about life.

Finally, and possibly the most important, is social curiosity. Meeting new people, finding out who they are, building relationships, being part of various groups – they’re all essential to our well-being. These days, COVID-19 has really placed a spotlight on social curiosity. We’ve been socially isolated for months, and it’s made many of us realize how necessary it is to spend time with others. We have a heightened awareness of the importance of the relationships in our lives.

It’s a pretty neat thing, curiosity. It can make a big difference in the quality of our lives, so go out there and find something to be curious about! Until next time, enjoy.


Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Learn more about TransformingWealth™ , our proprietary approach designed to get your arms around the big picture, so you can make informed financial decisions. Ask Gary about Coyle’s TransformingWealth Preview Meeting and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting, but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions.

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